The Shark ICZ160UKT is a cordless vacuum cleaner that functions as a regular upright. However, it's the Lift-Away mode that really delivers the flexibility, allowing you to carry the central part of the vacuum to where you need it, providing a long hose to reach into areas. And, since you're only lifting the hose and wand at this point, the ICZ160UKT is easier to use than having to lift a traditional stick cordless cleaner. Onboard storage for the raft of accessories would have been welcome, but this is an excellent and powerful cleaner nonetheless.
- Super flexible
- Replaceable batteries
- Excellent performance on all surfaces
- No onboard tool storage
- Review Price: £429.99
- Cordless vacuum cleaner
- 1080 x 250 x 260mm, 5.5kg
- DuoClean floor head, upholstery tool, crevice tool, brush, mini motorised tool
- 0.6l bin
- 50-minute run-time (standard mode)
Cordless vacuum cleaners largely sport a similar design, but the Shark ICZ160UKT is different.
As with Shark’s plug-in Lift-Away models, this vacuum cleaner has a pull-out central section that means you carry the cleaner where you need it and use the attached hose to get into hard-to-reach areas.
For those who struggle with the weight of a cordless cleaner, this setup provides the perfect solution of powerful cleaning without the burden of carrying a heavy unit.
Excellent cleaning performance, swappable batteries and a great range of accessories combine to make the Shark ICZ160UKT a super-flexible cordless vacuum cleaner.
Shark ICZ160UKT – What you need to know
- General vacuuming – It’s easy to use in upright mode, and Lift-Away mode adds flexibility
- Carpet test – Left behind only a tiny amount of dust in otherwise excellent performance
- Hard floor test – Sweeps through dirt on a hard floor brilliantly
- Pet hair pick-up – Pet fuzz is removed without issue, and the smart design of the roller means that hair won’t clog up the roller
Related: Best cordless vacuum cleaner
Design – Brilliantly flexible, this is a vacuum that can go where you need it go
The Shark ICZ160UKT sports a design that’s differs to that of other cordless vacuum cleaners. In fact, this model looks very much like a standard upright vacuum cleaner. The motor, 0.6l bin and battery slot are positioned at the bottom, which allow this model to stand up by itself. It’s surprising, but few cordless vacuum cleaners boast of the same ability.
This model comes with Shark’s DuoClean floor head, which is designed to work on hard floors via the soft roller, and carpets via the motorised brush. It’s a truly neat design, and one that makes it easy to tackle any surface without having to regularly switch out floor head attachments.
In this mode, the Shark ICZ160UKT works like any upright vacuum cleaner. You press the button to turn it on, then you can choose to have carpet or hard floor mode (this adjusts the speed of the roller).
Holding down the boost button will give the vacuum a bit of extra power where you need it. Note that if you have the DuoClean head attached, the boost button turns on until you turn it off; for other accessories, you have to hold the button down for a power boost.
There’s a single battery in the box, which slots into the side of the vacuum cleaner; it pulls out easily for charging. You can buy additional units should you want to extend the run-time of the vacuum cleaner (Should we not mention here how much an additional battery would cost?). Shark offers a dual-battery version of this cleaner for an additional £70, which is pretty good value considering this will double your run-time.
In upright mode, the vacuum is extremely nimble and light on its feet, dashing around furniture legs and around the room. Despite weighing 5.5kg, the vacuum is well balanced and easy to push.
So far, the Shark ICZ160UKT looks and acts much like a standard upright vacuum cleaner then. Push the button at the back to pull out the wand for close-up cleaning with the accessories. Again, nothing particularly different about that. However, you can lift out the cylinder unit and carry this and the wand to where you need it.
This kind of mode is handy for cleaning stairs or getting into hard-to-reach areas, such as around the car. Although the entire vacuum weighs 5.5kg, once the cylinder is in place, you’re really only having to deal with the weight of the wand in this mode. If you find it tiring or tricky to lift a standard cordless vacuum, the Shark ICZ160UKT is far easier to use since you rarely have to deal with the vacuum’s full weight.
Shark provides a useful range of accessories in the box. These include a crevice tool, brush, upholstery tool and a mini-motorised tool, which is useful for tackling pet beds and the stairs. They only slight negative is there’s no storage onboard the vacuum for any of these tools.
Emptying the bin is easy, with the entire unit sliding out the front and opening at the bottom to dump its contents. You can also open the top to access one filter and clean out the entire bin assembly. A second filter can be found in the side of the unit.
Performance – One of the most powerful cordless vacuum cleaners around
I put the Shark ICZ160UKT through the usual set of tests, first of which assesses suction. Starting on standard power, I measured the vacuum as having a 25-inch water lift capability, delivering airflow of 14.63 cubic feet, which I worked out as a useful 43-airwatts. Upping power to boost, water lift increased to 61 inches and airflow to 22.22 cubic feet, which I worked out at a powerful 159.46 airwatts.
On standard power, the cleaner can run for up to 50 minutes (with non-motorised tool), although you get under 10 minutes when running on boost mode.
Moving to the real-world tests, I first sprinkled a teaspoon of flour onto carpet, right up to the skirting board. A single sweep through picked up most of the flour; but I needed a quick burst of turbo mode to get right to the edge of the skirting, leaving only a small trace of mess behind that I picked up with the crevice tool.
Carpet test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
Next, I spread a teaspoon of rice onto the floor and ran the vacuum cleaner through the middle. This required me to engage burst mode to suck out all the grains sitting in the grouting. Overall performance was excellent.
Hard floor test: Dirty hard floor (left) vs Clean hard floor (right) – move slider to compare
Finally, I combed cat hair into the carpet and ran the vacuum cleaner through to successfully suck up the mess. The DuoClean head uses Shark’s Anti Hair Warp tech, which claims that no hair will become caught around the rollers. And this test proved that the tech really does work.
Pet hair test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
Noise levels were 79.5dB in standard mode, which is about average for a cordless cleaner. Upping to turbo mode increased this only slightly to 80.1dB, with a higher-pitched whooshing sound more evident.
Should you buy the Shark ICZ160UKT?
The Shark ICZ160UKT sports a design that’s different to most other cordless vacuum cleaners, which will make it an attractive option for lots of people. Rather than having to contend with the full weight of the cleaner for every job, this vacuum can stand upright for floor cleaning, while Lift-Away mode lightens the load further by allowing you to carry the central unit to where you want it, leaving you with just the wand to hold.
Impressive performance and the opportunity to add extra batteries for longer run-time cement this vacuum cleaner’s place as one of the best cordless models I’ve reviewed.